Thanks for the reply. The crash was happening whether editing an existing template or creating a new one.
I finally got hold of a human and was told the problem was with the version R4. They don't make a trial version R6 so I can't do a 30-day trial before buying, but I was able to download a regular R6 version that I can test for 15 uses before it boots me out. The Layout Designer seems to work fine in this non-trial R6 version. Hopefully they'll come out with a working trial version so no one else has to waste hours trying to solve something that's unfixable. Not a good intro to the company.